Now that Chelsea FC (Holdings Limited) are (almost officially) under American ownership, we can probably expect an even more steady stream of rumors and links with various US-based players — on the flip side, no more Russian Premier League links (even beyond that horrible invasion thing).
In any case, first up is 18-year-old Gabriel Slonina, a massive 6’4” in height already, who apparently was on our radar even before Roman Abramovich’s sanctions and subsequent sale of the club. According to Football.London’s Adam Newson, we’re now set to “reignite interest” in the teenage goalkeeper, who’s been making the news for his youthful excellence in MLS for Chicago Fire, and also for choosing to represent the USMNT, his country of birth, over his ancestral Poland.
The wonderfully named Slonina (i.e. “Bacon”), who’s gone by the nickname “Gaga” (not Lady, but Super) since age 6, has been turning heads on other side of the Pond as well, with Chelsea just one of the few elite European teams supposedly in contention. In fact, Slonina seems most likely to sign with Wolverhampton Wanderers, in a (next January) deal ranging anywhere from £3m to £10m, though these things can often change quickly in football.
Any Chelsea interest in a goalkeeper with aspirations of actually playing would also greatly depend on the futures of Kepa Arrizabalaga (nearly impossible to transfer at current wages), Marcus Bettinelli (surely not wanting to just keep sitting on the bench), and even Édouard Mendy (set for a new contarct?), not to mention all the various loanees and promising players in the organization, such as Nathan Baxter, who’s made it quite clear that he’s targeting a first-team role.
But hey, who doesn’t like bacon?